WHEN I DIE 1 by Akinmuleya. A. Alfred
I’m not going to die. Die; Like “sleep furiously” and never wake. Die; like never responding to mails And give no replication to talks. Like stop caterwauling, grizzling and kvetching.
Stop walking, working, warming, warning and warring. I will die. Like those ancestors who never die but rest Never rest but gone Never gone but covered
Never covered but buried Buried and covered with virtues and immaculacy.
With cloying memories that won’t come again. Never again come than in dreams.
Dreams of the orphanboy who on their shoulder lean. With the flowers of the tree they planted Falling on their resting skull.
I will die. Die; like my ancestors. ii.) I will not die Even when my funeral is announced And my clone smiling in my necrology. When the mourners move from tears to blood. And my body lowered down the dark tunnel, I am never dead. iii.) I will not die. For you *Ajani* the homeless street boy The half-man, half-beast orphan. For you that dwells in burrow of rabbits and den of lion, If by chance I become a food to the indigenes of the earth Don’t mind yet. I’ll be the strengthened eagle Hovering over your gainless effort. I’ll be the night sirens
That put thieves in imperilment. I’ll be the night vehicle’s horn And alerts you of the dangers of high speed. So, I will not die. iv.) I will not die. For you this Land of our trust Where our turbulence was born a twin to our hope. When you see me speechlessly laid And motionlessly tied,
Weep not. For I won’t stop weeping for you. Till only one voice is heard; your voice alone And hope is signalled.. I’ll not stop talking. Talking to you in your head, Behind your closed eyes at bedtime; Till our voice is heard The voices of a well-feed-slave And that of hungry-freeman. v.) I will not die. For you the singing mouth That chant down the wall of Babylon And make Black the first color in heaven In dreams and in deeds.
When the papers call me “DECEASED”
You need not panic. I’ll be the undertone of your voices; The wind that travels your tone to the world unknown. I’ll be the tintinnabulation of your bell Till the war gong becomes the Victor’s bell. vi.) I’ll not die. But sleep like my ancestors did
And keep waking at every breaking of the day Eating oiled potatoes and cooked parrot egg Just to solve a puzzle.
AKINMULEYA .A. ALFRED